What is the Clutch Switch all about?
A number of new features makes manual transmission cars easier to drive on an everyday basis, including the clutch switch. This simple device is a safety feature, designed to prevent the engine from starting while the transmission is in gear. That doesn’t mean you have to put the transmission in neutral to start the car, though. The switch prevents the starter from actuating unless the clutch pedal is pressed to the floor. It mounts to the back of the clutch pedal assembly, and is really nothing more than a clutch-specific on/off switch. When the pedal is free, the switch is off. When you press it to the floor, the switch activates, turning the system on and allowing the engine to crank.
Keep in mind:
- Like your brake light switch and other electronic components that see regular use, the clutch switch will wear out over time and require replacement.
- Because it’s an electronic component, there is no visible wear and tear that would indicate a problem.
How it’s done:
- The under dash panels by the clutch pedal are removed
- The defective clutch switch is disconnected and removed from the clutch pedal support
- The new clutch switch is installed and adjusted
- The electrical connector is connected to the new switch and the panels are re-installed
- The vehicle is started to check the clutch switch for proper operation
If you’re experiencing problems that seem consistent with intermittent switch failure (the car sometimes won’t crank with the pedal depressed fully), have it diagnosed by one of our expert mechanics.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Clutch Switch?
- Engine won’t start even with the clutch pedal depressed fully
- Intermittent “no start” with the pedal depressed
- The car will start without the clutch pedal pressed in
How important is this service?
While your clutch switch is a relatively simple part, your car won’t operate until a new one is installed in place of the broken one. However, switch failure will not prevent you from driving the car if it has already started – it only prevents the engine from cranking. Have your car diagnosed as soon as possible to prevent any inconvenience.